(10AM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)
My friend Diane Gee, the proprietor of The Wild Wild Left blog and producer and co-host of the weekly radio show by that name, had an inspirational idea the other day to start a “Burn the Ballot 2010” movement.
The idea was to protest against the so-called “two-party” system, which seems to only represent corporate interests and has walked away from doing right by The People. Wall Street versus Main Street. Special Interest versus the Common Good.
So the idea was on election day, instead of voting, a person was to abscond with her ballot from the polling place and go outside and in a safe and legal manner burn or otherwise destroy the ballot on camera and post the video where it can be seen by the most people.
The more people who know they are not alone in their feelings of frustration and disillusion about our completely corrupt and dysfunctional political system, the more who will be encouraged to do something about it.
But, lo and behold, there is the rub. Everyone wants to bitch and moan, but no one wants to do anything about the object of their frustration – their own disenfranchisement as a “people.”
Most of the people on FB, my radical friends, have clicked “not attending.”
A couple maybes, two yes’s.
120 nothings and a fuckload of “NO’s”
I didn’t expect a movement overnight, but the rejection of action is deafening.
Welcome to reality, Diane, where a good line of bullshit, and a shovelful of “no real, actual inconvenience to me” rules… we are doomed, not because of the tea-baggers, but the unwillingness to sacrifice even one moment by the enlightened. KABUKI; even my friends are KABUKI.
Fuck it, there are no angels in these demon-world, there is no hope…. and what is going is happen? Just go ahead, insulate yourselves in our own little precious universes and die anyway. You’ve got it good!!!!
This is my hell. Welcome. Enjoy the ride. Without protest? We are baked.
Now, you may not feel disenfranchised. You may feel what is good for the corporation is good for you. You may feel we have a Constitutional system of governance and things will work out in the end. You may feel Barack Obama and the Democrats is a “lesser of two evils” and all that matters is the ‘greater’ of two evils don’t get back in power. You may feel all kinds of things which make you want to participate in our political system. You have hope. You have confidence. You have faith in our two party system. After all, it’s worked great for more than 200 years. It made America what it is today. The greatest debtor empire in the history of the world. It has debauched its currency, engaged in wars of aggression and driven its people to record levels of poverty, inequality and psychological dysfunction.
But you may have hope things are always darkest before the dawn and now Obama has renamed Bush’s war in Afghanistan, New Dawn, things are getting brighter.
Good on You.
But, if you’re like me, you know America has gone though a sea change and there is no going back to a time which is gone forever. America has jettisoned its industrial economy for a service economy of servants. It has made extinct “mom and pop” businesses and farms for Big Box Stores and factory farming. It has embraced a “war economy” of perpetual war for perpetual profits, and people are nothing more than cannon fodder, collateral damage and ticking time bombs who suffer from PTSD; shell shock; sticker shock and the Shock Doctrine of economic hardship and “austerity measures.”
Many of us talk openly about revolution and trot out Jeffersonian rhetoric about the ‘tree of liberty’ and the blood of martyrs. We talk about collapse as a forgone conclusion because the socioeconomic fundamentals cannot be any longer ignored or swept under the rug – record debts, record unemployment, record homelessness, record food stamp recipients, record misery and degradation.
We see the political class smirk and pay lip service to “jobs, jobs, jobs” and their idea is to give a business a subsidy to hire someone in a stagnant business environment of expense cutting, job slashing, massive layoffs and egregious off-shoring of jobs which would be done here by a population willing to accept minimum wage and live four generations to a house.
We see continual capitulation and surrender to the political expediency of bribery and graft, the quid pro quo of campaign contribution and access to influence. We see corporate lobbyists writing legislation for the benefit of too-big-to-fail Big Business and the belittlement and degradation of tax-paying citizens whose money is used not to benefit society but the corporate-government nexus of greed and corruption.
We see the profit-driven corporate media giving oodles of time to fascist haters and book burning nut jobs and the occasional mass murder by disgruntled employees who haven’t learned to live with indignity with grace. People are treated as sad statistics when poverty and unemployment are discussed, but heart break stories are only given election year coverage by pandering politicians spouting tear-jerk anecdotes. Meanwhile the real story of America’s tragedy is swept under the rug in favor of cop, doctor and lawyer shows dripping with fantasy land commercial jingles.
We see folks who speak power to truth ridiculed, maligned and relegated to the back alleys of freaks, addicts and conspiracy theorists. We know violence is useless in the face of laser beams, microwaves and “non-lethal” weapons of mass destruction. We know raising our voices is pointless in a land of the deaf, dumb and blind. We know organizing against The Borg is a pipe-dream as folks are kept over-worked, over-wrought, over-medicated, under-slept and divided against one another by fear and loathing.
All we have are meaningless symbols of protest. We can choose not to vote. We can choose not to shop. We can choose not to pay taxes (at the price of imprisonment).
We can choose to burn our ballots to show we see through the game of politics as cheap entertainment full of sound and fury, signifying broken promises, empty rhetoric and business as usual.
We CAN “Just Say No” instead of making excuses why we should say ‘yes’ one more time to be fooled again.
We have to do something to replace the insanity of doing the same over and over and over and expecting different results. Isn’t this exactly what voting time after time after time in a dysfunctional and corrupt political system is?
When does the truth become more than a belief or opinion and is self-evident?
You can continue on with the practice of insanity or you can do something different. Maybe the result will be the same, but doing something different is a sane choice.
Burning or destroying our ballots in 2010 to protest our decrepit, dysfunctional, corrupt, unworkable, implacable and irretrievably broken political system is a sane choice.
Do something sane this election cycle. Don’t vote. Destroy your ballot in public protest.
Truly, what have you got to lose in a system which has already lost everything?